Is it hard to engage your high schooler’s interest in writing a research paper? Then stay tuned to this edition of Home School Heartbeat, with HSLDA President Mike Smith.
Today I’m talking with Becky Cooke, a high school coordinator at Home School Legal Defense Association. Becky, once parents have assigned a research paper to their student, how can they make the writing process a little more interesting?
Well, Mike, if I knew the answer to that question, I would have made a million bucks by now! But seriously, here are some tips. Writing research papers will be more enjoyable if the kids are interested in the topic. Depending on the topic, the child may want to interview people who have relevant information about it, or they may want to actually visit the area or place pertaining to the subject. Now, a common problem which makes writing more difficult is having too little information for the assigned length of paper, so the student tries to stretch this information to fill the required number of pages by repeating himself using different words. So encourage the child to have more information than needed. On the other hand, some students may research ad nauseam, without beginning to write; so step in and help him begin. Also, as your child researches, ask him about his findings to ensure he is forming his own thoughts on the subject. A few probing questions will show him how to think about his topic and what issues still need to be researched.
Thanks, Becky. Join us again next time and we’ll talk about evaluating student papers. Until then, I’m Mike Smith.